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Philip Glass turns 75

Philip Glass will celebrate his 75th birthday today in a style truly fit for a composer. Tonight, his Ninth Symphony will premiere in America at Carnegie Hall. The American Composers Orchestra – the group who 25 years ago premiered his first ‘mature’ orchestra piece, Violin Concert No. 1 – will play this evening.

Below: Glass discussing his Ninth Symphony and his relationship with the ACO.

For those unable to attend the sold out performance at Carnegie Hall, there is still hope for hearing this new work. A recording of Symphony No. 9 performed by the Bruckner Orchester Linz and conducted by Dennis Russle Davies was made available exclusively on itunes today.

The piece was commissioned by the Bruckner Orchester Linz, Carnegie Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Ninth Symphony was written for a large symphony orchestra. Glass describes the work as “big and unrelenting.” While some of his previous symphonies have contained texts and chorus, the ninth will only include the orchestra allowing the work to focus, as Glass put it, on “the language of music itself.”

A Opening, the first movement from Glassworks:

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